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the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 8

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


Note: see also Introduction Revelation

1) "And when he had opened the seventh seal," (kai hotan enoiksen ten sphragida ten hebdome) "And whenever (at the moment) he opened the seventh (of the seven) seal;” It was "the Lamb", the Son of God, the Redeemer, who took the book from God (his Father), and was accounted worthy to open the seals and disclose the contents of the book. The seventh seal is now being opened, Revelation 5:5-10.

2) "There was silence in heaven," (egeneto sige en to ourano) "There became, occurred, or existed, a silence in the heaven;” where the central throne, the four living creatures, the twenty and four elders, the good angels, the church, and souls of the redeemed of the ages had taken their abode. When all these saw the contents of judgments and plagues and woes and torments they were frozen in silence, Zechariah 2:13.

3) "About the space of half an hour," (hos hemioron) "(For) about an half-hour," a period of time of about an half hour in duration. There was no "come and see", invitation, at the opening of this seventh seal as in Revelation 6:1; Revelation 6:3; Revelation 6:5; Revelation 6:7 : for all seem to have beheld what judgment was ahead, and together they bowed in stone silence. All the creatures of heaven seemed as if called to silence in his presence, Habakkuk 2:20; Zephaniah 1:7.

Verse 2


1) "And I saw the seven angels," (kai eidon tous hepta angelous) "And I saw (perceived) the seven angels;” as the "Seven Spirits" of God signifies unified completeness of the Holy Spirit in all his manifestations, and the seven churches of Asia represent the one true church in her functions, so the seven angels signify that all angels are now ready to do God’s bidding and the will of the Lamb, Hebrews 1:14; Revelation 1:4.

2) "Which stood before God," (hoi enopion tou theou hestekasin) "Who stood before (in the presence of). God as ready to do him service, to do his bidding, in matters of pending judgment upon the earth. They "stood" as ready for his inspection, review, and instruction for service, as every child of God should do, Romans 12:1-2.

3) "And to them were given seven trumpets," (kai edothesan autois hepta salpinges) "And seven trumpets were given (over) to them;” for their use, their service to the Lamb who held and opened the seven seal book, and had now opened the seventh and last seal, where final disclosures of end time events shall be described with increased tempo and rising crescendo judgment cries.

As the seven horns and seven eyes of the Lamb represent his omnipotent might and omniscient penetrating sight, Revelation 5:6; so the seven seals, seven trumpets and seven vial-bowels represent his final

judgments, so mingled and overlapping that they are one "The Great Day of His wrath," Revelation 6:17. Seven as a sacred number represents absolute fullness or completeness.

Verse 3

1) "And another angel came," (kai allos angelos elthen) "And another angel (in addition to the seven) came” though different from, or in addition to the seven he appeared to serve God with the other seven angels.

2) "And stood at the altar," (kai estathe epi tou thusiasteriou) "And stood upon the altar place," before the throne of God and the Lamb in heaven, presented himself to receive orders to do their bidding.

3) "Having a golden censer," (echon libanoton chrusoun) "Having or holding a golden censer;” Views of Royalty in judgment and religious praise, and devotion in worship, alternate before the throne of God, Revelation 6:9 to Revelation 11:19, and in judgment poured upon the earth.

4) "And there was given unto him much incense," (kai edothe auto thumiamata polla) "And there was given (over) to him much incense;” In temple worship when a censer or saucer of incense was poured on live fire coals, as the sweet odor ascended, people prayed and their prayers were said to ascend up to God, Luke 18:9-14; Acts 10:4; Revelation 6:9-11; John 14:13.

5) "That he should offer it with the prayers of all saints," (hina dosei tois proseuchais ton hagion panton) "in order that he might give it with all the prayers of the saints; prayers of thanksgiving, gratitude, and praise, Colossians 3:17.

6) "Upon the golden altar," (epi to thusiasterion to chruson) "Upon the golden altar-place;" where Jesus Christ intercedes to the Father for us now, Hebrews 7:25.

7) "Which was before the throne," (to enopion tou thronou) "Which was before (facing, or in the presence of) the throne;” So that God beheld the mercy seat, 2 Chronicles 7:15-16; Hebrews 7:25.

Verse 4

1) "And the smoke of the incense," (ho kaptos ton thumiamaton) "The smoke of the incenses," smoke rising from the incense cast upon the coals upon the altar; it was a rich perfume scented incense used perpetually with sacrifices, Exodus 30:8-9; Exodus 37:29; Exodus 40:5; Leviticus 16:13.

2) "Which came with the prayers of the saints," (tois proseuchais ton hagion) "With the prayers of the saints," at the time of incense burning, Luke 1:10-11; Psalms 141:2; 1 Timothy 2:8.

3) "Ascended up before God," (kai anebe enopion tou theou) "Even went up before (in the presence of) God," who was upon the central throne, to make an acceptable fragrance, to receive granting of their petitions, Revelation 6:9-11.

4) "Out of the angel’s hand," (ek cheiros tou angelou) "Out of the hand of the angel," which held the golden censer, Revelation 8:3. It appears that the trumpet judgments come as Divine responses to the prayers of saints, as the incense is poured out upon heaven’s Golden Altar, before the throne of God, where Christ intercedes for the saints; as the sweet incense and prayers of the saints arise before the throne the seven judgment trumpets begin to blast. A judgment tempo fury begins to fall on the earth. As a judgment of David’s imprecatory prayers for judgment upon his enemies, the saints also pray imprecatory prayers before God’s throne, Psalms 59:11-15.

Verse 5

1) "And the angel took the censer," (kai eilephen ho angelos libanoton) "And the angel has taken (took) the censer," the golden censer which had been given to him with much incense, to offer with prayers of the saints to those crying, "how long, 0, Lord?" 6:9-11.

2) "And filled it with fire of the altar," (kai egemisen auton ek tou puros tou thusiasteriou) "And filled it out of (from) the fire of the altar;” Where the perpetual fire was kept burning as a symbol of cleansing or purification from sin, impurity, and putrefaction, Exodus 30:8-9.

3) "And cast it into the earth," (kai ebalen eis ten gen) "And cast, threw, or tossed it into the earth;” - the purging altar fire, the sweet, fragrant incense enflaming fire from the prayers of saints was answered by an outpouring of long waiting judgment upon rebellious men, Romans 2:4-9.

4) "And there were:”- (kai egenonto) "And there occurred," came to be, appeared to my sight and sound, as heaven was moved by prayers of the saints, Acts 4:31.

a) "voices," (phonai) voices, perhaps those formerly heard crying "let the rocks and mountains fall on us," Revelation 6:14-17.

b) "and thunderings," (kai brontai) "and thunders," indicating divine anger against a Christ rejecting world as calamity falls, Proverbs 1:22-30.

c) "And lightnings," (kai astrapai) "And lightnings;" as surely as sinners reject God until it is too late, judgment thunders shall roll, lightning shall flash, and judgment verdicts shall be rendered for every man –Hebrews 9:27; Acts 17:31.

d) "And an earthquake," (kai seismos) "And an earthquake," an earthly upheaval; Revelation 11:13-19; Revelation 16:18.

Verse 6

1) "And the seven angels," (kai hoi hepta angeloi) "And (then) the seven angels," which stood at heaven’s entrance, before the throne of God to do his bidding, Revelation 8:2.

2) "Which had seven trumpets," (hoi echontes tas hepta salpingas) "Those holding the seven trumpets," that were given over to them, Revelation 8:2, as they listened, watched as the saints’ prayers went up before the Father, the Son, and the throne; waiting to deliver the saints to greater realms of victory, Psalms 34:7; Hebrews 1:14.

3) "Prepared themselves," (hetoimasan autous) "Prepared themselves," made themselves ready, alert, prepared for the immediate task assigned them under this seventh seal.

4) "To sound," (hina salpisosin) "in order that they might trumpet, play, or make a musical sound," of trumpet blast calling men to prepare for calamity, or for the redeemed to behold it poured out upon the earth. It appears that God may "laugh", at this hour, in mockery of those who have derided him. For his word declares such an hour is coming, Acts 17:32; Romans 2:4-9; Proverbs 1:24-28.

Verse 7


1) "The first angel sounded," (kai ho protos esalpisen) "And the first (in order of the seven) angels trumpeted," sounded a blast on the trumpet that was given to him, Revelation 8:2. This is a continuation of the narrative of Revelation 8:2.

2) "And there followed hail and fire," (kai egento chalaksa kai pur) "And there occurred (became) or fell hail and fire;” This judgment is of similar nature to that fourth plague sent on Egypt and Pharaoh, Exodus 9:23-24; and that fire and brimstone that fell on Sodom and Gomorrah, Genesis 19:24.

3) "Mingled with blood," (memigmena en haimati) "Having been mixed in (with) blood," hail, blood, and fire intermingled, conveying evidence of heaven’s judgment anger against long rebellious men, Psalms 7:11-12.

4) "And they were cast upon the earth," (kai eblethe eis ten gen) "And it (the mixture) was cast or thrown into the earth;” in judgment forms of visible fury, as typified upon Israel before, Psalms 18:12-14; Ezekiel 38:22.

5) "And the third part of the earth was burnt up," (kai to triton tes ges katekan) "And the third part, a substantial part, of the earth was burnt down," or "burnt up," See also Revelation 8:8; Revelation 8:10.

6) "And the third part of the trees was burnt up," (kai to triton ton dendron katekon) "Even the third part, a substantial part, of the trees was burnt up or down."

7) "And all green grass was burnt up," (kai pas chortos chloros katekan) "And all green (chlorophyl-like) grass-plants were burned;” leaving a desolate and starvation setting, of fiery judgment, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-11.

Verse 8


1) "And the second angel sounded," (kai ho deuteros angelos esalpisen) "And the second (of the seven) Angel trumpeted," sounded like a trumpet, or sounded his trumpet, as he did again, Revelation 16:3.

2) "And as it were a great mountain burning with fire," (kai hos aros mega puri kaiomenon) "And (it was) as a great mountain with fire burning;” a turbulent upheaval, as described Jeremiah 51:25, when the mighty Babylon shall be destroyed, and a remnant of Israel preserved, Amos 7:4-5.

3) "Was cast into the sea," (elethe eis ten thalassan) "And it was cast into the sea," a symbol of Divine judgment upon those who rejected the Son of God, Revelation 16:3.

4) "And the third part of the sea became blood,’ : (kai egeneto to triton tes thalasses hima) "And the third part of the sea became blood;” as God’s catastrophic fury was poured out upon the earth, as in the plagues of Egypt, Exodus 7:19-20; Ezekiel 14:19; Revelation 11:6.

Verse 9

1)"And the third part of the creatures," (Kai to triton ton ktismaton) "And the third part of the created creatures there;” These judgment plagues shall come upon the earth during the tribulation the great, described also Ezekiel 38:18-23.

2) "Which were in the sea," (ton en te thalasse) "Which were in the third part of the sea;” these plagues occur in cycles, but seem to increase in terrifying and colossal intensity.

3) "And had life, died," (ta echonta psuchas apethauen) "Those having or holding life (flesh life) died;” marine life was killed, suffocated as the volcanic, mountainous eruptions belched fire and blood into the sea of death.

4) "And the third part of the ships were destroyed," (kai to triton ton ploion diephtharesan) "And the third part of the ships were destroyed," in the upheaval of the sea. A substantial portion of the ships of commerce were (are) put out of service, destroyed in this judgment hour, also formerly described, Revelation 6:14-17.

Verse 10


1) "And the third angel sounded," (kai ho tritos angelos esalpisen) "And the third (of the seven) angel trumpeted, gave a trumpet alarm, sound, or call, Revelation 8:2.

2) "And there fell a great star from heaven,"(kai epesen ek tou auranou aster megas) "And there fell a great star out of the heaven," much as when the fifth angel sounded and the torch-lamp star fell into the earth, Revelation 9:1. It came from heaven, the very hand of God’s wrath, Revelation 6:17.

3) "Burning as it were a lamp," (kaiomenos ho lampas) "Burning (continually) like a lamp," like a torch-lamp, a great falling star, with a flaring trail of fire, or a great star failing catastrophe, as foretold by our Lord, Matthew 24:29.

4) "And it fell upon the third part of the rivers," (kai epesen epi to triton ton potamon) "And it fell (came down) upon the third (part) of the rivers," much as judgment fell on the rivers of Egypt in Pharaoh’s rebellious days, Exodus 7:19-25. This appears to be a star-falling burn out when God turns out the lights of the heavens, Revelation 6:12-13.

5) "And upon the fountains of waters," (kai epi tas pegas ton hudaton) "And it came down (fell) upon the fountains (fountain heads) of the waters," to bring death to those who drank from or, had no water, starved without it, Revelation 16:4. The use of the phrase "great star", indicates a great cataclysms of falling stars.

Verse 11

1) "And the name of the star is called Wormwood," (kai to onoma tou asteros legetai ho apsinthos) "And the name of the star is said, to be called Wormwood," bitterness of poison; The-drinking waters of earth’s rivers, streams, and fountains, shall become deadly, bitter, and poisonous, Exodus 15:23; Jeremiah 9:15; Jeremiah 23:15.

2) "And the third part of the waters became wormwood," (kai egeneto to triton ton hudaton eis apsinthon) "And one third part of the drinking waters of the earth became (were turned into) wormwood," or bitter poison; The wormwood plant was used for medicinal purposes in the Middle-East. It was an herb plant about 18 inches in height with intense bitterness, La 3:15, 19; Ruth 1:20.

3) "And many men died of the waters," (kai polloi ton anthropon apethanon ek ton hudaton) "And many men died (out, of) from the waters;” as they died from bitter (poison) waters of Elisha’s day until he healed the waters; 2 Kings 2:19-21; 2 Kings 4:40-41. So shall this star-failing judgment calamity come upon men on earth in the great tribulation.

4) "Because they were made bitter," (hoti epikranthesan) "Because they were made bitter," or poisonous.

Note the trumpet-tempo of increasing intensity as beheld and described by John:

1. The First Trumpet judgment affected only plant life.

2. The Second Trumpet judgment fell on living creatures in the sea and destroyed ships.

3. The Third Trumpet judgment brings death to many men by poison from drinking the fallen star-poison waters. Revelation 8:7-11.

Verse 12


1) "And the fourth angel sounded," (kai ho tetartos angelos esalpisen) "And the fourth (of the seven) angel trumpeted," gave a loud warning; The tempo of judgment increases with the sounding of each of the seven trumpets.

2) "And the third part of the sun was smitten," (kai epege to triton tou heliou) "And the third (part) of the sun was struck (smitten);" Smitten with darkness, Isaiah 13:10; Isaiah 24:23; Luke 21:25.

3) "And the third part of the moon, and the third part the stars " (kai to triton tes selenes kai to triton ton asteron) "And the third (part) of the moon and the third (part) of the stars," were also struck or smitten with darkness. This is a reemphasis , overlapping description of simultaneous judgments, often at the same time, though introduced under different trumpet soundings that occur, as in case of the stars, Revelation 6:13; Joel 2:10; Joel 2:31.

4) "So as the third part of them was darkened," (hina skotisthe to triton auton) "In order that the third (part) of them might be darkened," Joel 3:15; Amos 8:9. The sun will go down at noon at the brightest hour of the day.

5) "And the day shone not for a third part of it," (kai he hemera me phone to triton autes) "And the third (part) of the day might not appear." Daylight was shortened to only two thirds of its normal time, Amos 8:9.

6) "And the night likewise," (kai he nuks homios) "And the night in like manner," might not appear; there was neither star nor moonlight for one third of the night, making it one third longer in darkness.

Verse 13

"And I beheld," (kai eidon) "And I (John) saw," perceived or witnessed with my eyes in the revelation of future judgments upon the earth, as revealed at the fourth trumpet sounding.

2) "And I heard an angel flying in the midst of heaven," (kai ekousa henos aetou petomenou en mesouranemati) "And I heard one eagle (angel-like) flying in (the) midheaven area;” Not an angel of normal appearance, in flight, bearing a woeful sound and message of doom, swift and certain in swooping down upon its prey.

3) "Saying with a loud voice, woe, woe, woe,"(Iegontos phone megale ouai, ouai, ouai) "Saying with a megaphone-like voice, woe, woe, woe;” This is the beginning of seven woes, occurring under sounding of the fourth trumpet, by the fourth of the seven sounding trumpeting angels, Revelation 8:2.

4) "To the inhabiters of the earth," (tous katoikountas epi tes ges) "To those dwelling upon the earth;” Revelation 9:12; Revelation 11:14-15. These woes come upon earth’s people who have wilfully rejected Jesus Christ, done despite to his grace and mercy, Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21-22.

5) "By reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels," (ek ton loipon phonon tes salpingos-ton trion angelon) "From (out of) the remaining voices of the three angels," the three of the seven that are yet to sound announcing intense judgment woes.

6) "Which are yet to sound," (ton mellonton salpizein) "Of those (being) about to trumpet," to sound forth the three woes or judgments yet to be poured out on the earth, under sounding of the fifth, sixth, and seventh angels trumpets, Revelation 9:1; Revelation 9:14; Revelation 11:14-19.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Revelation 8". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/revelation-8.html. 1985.
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